Neutrals are your secret weapon to captivating and keeping your viewers. Perhaps you thought it was color, design or value. But in essence it is those beautiful, luscious neutral colors that are the workhorse of your painting.
So, how to you create really good neutrals? Let’s say you have a limited palette. You are using three colors plus black and white (which are free). I personally use black gesso and white gesso instead of black paint….this of course applies to acrylic paints and not oils….with oils I use black paint and white paint.
My advice would be to use three transparent colors because when they are mixed together they stay transparent. It is only when you add a tiny touch of the black gesso or white gesso do you get an opaque color.
Use your transparent colors as long as possible and then mix one or two transparent colors with you white and perhaps some black. You will create a lovely neutral color that will enhance what you have already painted.
Usually when I place that neutral color in the painting it seems dull and out of place. This is when you take one of your transparent colors and go over the opaque color. I would recommend leaving a tad of the original opaque color showing as it will enhance the shape and as you layer other colors over that shape you will find that bit you left will become quite interesting.
Use your neutral colors throughout painting to give the eye a rest. Another thing the neutral colors do is allow the viewer to find your center of interest easily.
Give this a try and let me know if you find some intriguing and luscious neutrals that enhance your painting.
Let me know the three transparent colors you choose. This will be exciting to learn all the different mixtures and how you used them.